Morning Pages and Meditation
In Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, one of the most transformative writing tools that she teaches for igniting or renewing creativity is The Morning Pages, time set aside every morning to write stream of consciousness with pen or pencil on paper.
For me, these free-floating daily words helped me unload the little things racing through my mind, and understand and work through the bigger situations in my life. After a month or so of morning pages, I found myself having a burst of ideas about a plot, a character, or even the motivation of the story’s villain.
The Morning Pages led me to another tool I use not only to improve my writing but overall life: Meditation.
Since I was already writing three pages in the early hours of the morning it wasn’t hard to transition to five to 10 minutes of guided meditation. Meditation was the mechanism that helped me most cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. I opted for a meditation APP but now I set a timer and sit in my comfy office chair, the same place where I write Morning Pages.
Here are a few tips to get you started on meditation for improved writing, concentration, and creativity:
- Sit in a comfy space – a location that is available daily, if possible. Although I meditate in my office I have friends that prefer another location – not associated with their work.
- Craft a mantra or a statement to repeat in your mind during the meditation. My words flow from my authentic experiences and feelings; I Am a Novelist; Telling stories brings me joy; I’m grateful for the power of words. I’m eager to discover my character’s journey, etc.
- Breathe. The core technique for meditation is deep and controlled breathing. Sometimes I even place my hand on my lower abdomen to feel the belly rise and fall with my breathing. Start with five to 10 deep breaths before you shift to mindfulness.
- Slow your thoughts and focus on the present moment. Focus on the flame of a candle and observe the thoughts floating or racing through your mind. Release random thoughts and clarity will follow.
- Go with the flow. You don’t have to focus on writing or your creative process. Breathe and trust your inner knowing as you move into a deeper state.
- If you shift dramatically away from meditation return to your breath. Inhale. Exhale.
- When you open your eyes take a few minutes as awareness comes back. Drink water, and then start writing!
- Practice at least five minutes of meditation daily. Improve your writing!